Competency 2. Recruiting fathers to early childhood health centres
Having few fathers attend is a common experience for staff in many children’s services and help in getting fathers ‘in the gate’ is one of the most frequent requests made to the Engaging Fathers Program. Staff commonly have a hunch that they could do better if they knew more about fathers while also believing that many fathers are unmotivated to attend.
A second commonly recognised area of need is the ability to engage with fathers once they do attend and knowing how to encourage fathers to become involved in non-traditional areas of child care activity (not just building a retaining wall).
Download the file Skills, Knowledge & Attitudes for Recruiting fathers to early childhood health centres (67 KB pdf).
The development and documentation of competencies will be part of the ongoing work required for Father-inclusive Practice. The future will no doubt see many new areas of work with fathers requiring new skills, knowledge and attitudes. However we also expect to see the development of supporting documentation for existing areas of work providing detailed assessment for practitioners and giving more precise guidelines for the way that the competencies link to the Principles of father-Inclusive Practice.
For example, in the area of work with separated fathers, a well-developed set of competencies was released shortly after the Father-Inclusive Practice Forum was held. The Working with Separated Fathers competency standards, assessment guides and assessment tools were developed for the Child Support Agency (CSA) by FatherWork and a network of experienced practitioners in 2004-05. The competency standards aim to provide a framework for the training and assessment of group leaders for the 'Being Connected and Staying Connected' psycho-educational, intervention programs for separated fathers.
The newly formed ‘National Men and Fathers’ Practitioners Network’ is involved in consultation with CSA and the Australian Government's Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS) regarding the ongoing development of the competency standards and assessment materials for use in broader contexts of working with men and fathers. See the Being Connected site for more information.